ROUNDUP: 3rd Thursdays at The Monkey House

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3rd Thursdays has been a bedrock fixture of the 802 scene for years now. It’s a monthly rap showcase at The Monkey House in Winooski, hosted by The Anthill Collective. They’re a graf crew who do fantastic mural work -- and community building. A big part of why 3rd Thursdays keeps improving is their reputation and their network.

Even by their high standards, though, the lineup for the 20th is insane, a jambalaya collection of artists from all over New England. Many of them will be much bigger names in 2020. So for the first ROUNDUP of the summer, let’s take a listen to a few of these cats.

Brooklyn-based Deuce Ellis is a fountain of pure creativity, a rapper, a singer and a polished producer. He’s also got a mercurial style and a huge musical vocabulary, so there’s no telling what kind of set he will bring. That’s a good thing. So while it’s hard to nail down a “classic Deuce” single to sum up his sound, I’m definitely a sucker for an Aloe Blacc feature. Spend some time with his Soundcloud — you won’t regret it.

Portland, Maine artist Graphic Melee is another multi-talented threat — rapper, producer, engineer and house DJ for Monday of the Minds, another hip hop showcase that’s a vital part of the New England hip hop circuit. His style is raw, dark, and as far as this reviewer is concerned, dope as hell. The man will be performing cuts from his upcoming album, which drops July 17th.

Drent hails from Pawtucket, Rhode Island, and he’s just released a new project, SHARDS || MIDNIGHT MOORING. He’s part of the ILLWORDS crew, and his bio says “SOCIALLY CONSCIOUS HIP HOP” so expect music with a caps lock message.

Peace Out Pat is an affable weirdo from Maine whose music is … well, a mix of Rob Sonic and Mike Doughty, which is a pretty great combination. He’s also a sharp writer with a sardonic sense of humor, and his catalog is a hot mess — in a good way. Expect a wild set.

Finally, aLunarLanding is another Portland, Maine emcee whose recent EP Notes From the Corner of the Room was a genuinely interesting project. Expect dope beats and lyrics worth listening to.

Again, 3rd Thursdays at The Monkey House is tonight in Winooski. 9 pm show, early cypher, 21+ free and a three dollar cover for anyone in that awkward “18+” demographic.

Justin Boland